01-Fundamentals Configuration Guide

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07-Software upgrade configuration
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Upgrading software

About software upgrade

Software upgrade enables you to upgrade a software version, add new features, and fix software bugs. This chapter describes software types and release forms, compares software upgrade methods, and provides the procedures for upgrading software from the CLI.

Software types

The following software types are available:

·     BootWare image—Also called the Boot ROM image. This image contains a basic segment and an extended segment.

¡     The basic segment is the minimum code that bootstraps the system.

¡     The extended segment enables hardware initialization and provides system management menus. When the device cannot start up correctly, you can use the menus to load software and the startup configuration file or manage files.

Typically, the BootWare image is integrated into the Boot image to avoid software compatibility errors.

·     Comware image—Includes the following image subcategories:

Boot image—A .bin file that contains the Linux operating system kernel. It provides process management, memory management, and file system management.

¡     System image—A .bin file that contains the Comware kernel and standard features, including device management, interface management, configuration management, and routing.

¡     Feature image—A .bin file that contains advanced or customized software features. You can purchase feature images as needed.

¡     Patch image—A .bin file that is released for fixing bugs without rebooting the device. A patch image does not add or remove features.

Patch images have the following types:

-     Incremental patch images—Multiple incremental patch images can coexist on the device at the same time. A new patch image can cover all, part, or none of the functions provided by an old patch image.

-     Non-incremental patch images—Only one non-incremental patch image can coexist on the device. The device uninstalls the old non-incremental patch image before installing a new non-incremental patch image. A new non-incremental patch image covers all functions provided by an old non-incremental patch image.

An incremental patch image and a non-incremental patch image can coexist on the device.

Comware images that have been loaded are called current software images. Comware images specified to load at the next startup are called startup software images.

BootWare image, boot image, and system image are required for the device to operate.

Software release forms

Software images are released in one of the following forms:

·     Separate .bin files. You must verify compatibility between software images.

·     As a whole in one .ipe package file. The images in an .ipe package file are compatible. The system decompresses the file automatically, loads the .bin images and sets them as startup software images.




Software image file names use the model-comware version-image type-release format. This document uses boot.bin and system.bin as boot and system image file names.


Upgrade methods

Upgrade method

Software types


Upgrading from the CLI by using the boot loader method

·     BootWare image

·     Comware images (excluding patches)

This method is disruptive. You must reboot the entire device to complete the upgrade.

Upgrading from the BootWare menu

·     BootWare image

·     Comware images

Use this method when the device cannot start up correctly.

To use this method, first connect to the console port and power cycle the device. Then, press Ctrl+B at prompt to access the BootWare menu.

For more information about upgrading software from the BootWare menu, see the release notes for the software version.


Use this method only when you do not have any other choice.


This chapter covers only upgrading software from the CLI by using the boot loader method.

Software image loading

Startup software images

To upgrade software, you must specify the upgrade files as the startup software images for the device to load at next startup. You can specify two lists of software images: one main and one backup. The device first loads the main startup software images. If the main startup software images are not available, the devices loads the backup startup software images.

Image loading process at startup

At startup, the device performs the following operations after loading and initializing BootWare:

1.     Loads main images.

2.     If any main image does not exist or is invalid, loads the backup images.

3.     If any backup image does not exist or is invalid, checks the main or backup boot image.

4.     If both the main and backup boot images do not exist or are invalid, the device cannot start up.

Upgrading device software by using the boot loader method

Software upgrade tasks at a glance

To upgrade software, perform the following tasks:

1.     (Optional.) Preloading the BootWare image to BootWare

If a BootWare upgrade is required, you can perform this task to shorten the subsequent upgrade time. This task helps reduce upgrade problems caused by unexpected power failure. If you skip this task, the device upgrades the BootWare automatically when it upgrades the startup software images.

2.     Specifying startup images and completing the upgrade


1.     Use the display version command to verify the current BootWare image version and startup software version.

2.     Use the release notes for the upgrade software version to evaluate the upgrade impact on your network and verify the following items:

¡     Software and hardware compatibility.

¡     Version and size of the upgrade software.

¡     Compatibility of the upgrade software with the current BootWare image and startup software image.

3.     Use the dir command to verify that the device has sufficient storage space for the upgrade images. If the storage space is not sufficient, delete unused files by using the delete command. For more information, see "Managing file systems."

4.     Use FTP or TFTP to transfer the upgrade image file to the root directory of a file system. For more information about FTP and TFTP, see "Configuring FTP" or "Configuring TFTP." For more information about file systems, see "Managing file systems."

Preloading the BootWare image to BootWare

Hardware and feature compatibility

Hardware series


Feature compatibility

WA6600 series












WA6300 series


















WAP922 series



WAP923 series




To load the BootWare image from a file system to the Normal BootWare area, execute the following command in user view:

bootrom update file file [ all | part ]

The new BootWare image takes effect at a reboot.

Specifying startup images and completing the upgrade

Perform the following steps in user view:

1.     Specify main or backup startup images.

¡     Use an .ipe file:

boot-loader file ipe-filename { backup | main }

¡     Use .bin files:

boot-loader file boot filename system filename [ feature filename&<1-30> ] { backup | main }

2.     Save the running configuration.


This step ensures that all configuration changes can survive a reboot.

For more information about the command, see configuration file management in Fundamentals Command Reference.

3.     Reboot the device.


4.     (Optional.) Verify the software image settings.

display boot-loader

Verify that the current software images are the same as the startup software images.

Display and maintenance commands for software images

Execute display commands in any view.




Display running software images and startup software images.

display boot-loader

Software upgrade examples

Example: Upgrading device software

Network configuration

As shown in Figure 1, use the file startup-a2105.ipe to upgrade software images for the AP.

Figure 1 Network diagram



# Configure IP addresses and routes. Make sure the AP and the TFTP server can reach each other. (Details not shown.)

# Configure TFTP settings on both the AP and the TFTP server. (Details not shown.)

# Display information about the current software images.

<Sysname> display version

# Back up the current software images. If the flash memory has insufficient space, you can skip this step.

<Sysname> copy boot.bin boot_backup.bin

<Sysname> copy system.bin system_backup.bin

# Specify boot_backup.bin and system_backup.bin as the backup startup image files. Skip this step if you have not backed up the current software images.

<Sysname> boot-loader file boot flash:/boot_backup.bin system flash:/system_backup.bin backup

# Use TFTP to download the startup-a2105.ipe image file from the TFTP server to the root directory of the flash memory.

<Sysname> tftp get startup-a2105.ipe

# Specify startup-a2105.ipe as the main startup image file.

<Sysname> boot-loader file flash:/startup-a2105.ipe main

# Verify the startup image settings.

<Sysname> display boot-loader

# Reboot the AP to complete the upgrade.

<Sysname> reboot

Verifying the configuration

# Verify that the AP is running the correct software.

<Sysname> display version